WASHINGTON–Legislation creating a universal health care system in the U.S. similar to the system in many states requiring motorists to buy auto insurance was introduced today in the Senate by Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md.
The legislation would require all Americans to enroll in a health care plan.
The bill was introduced as Democrats both in the House and Senate work to push through different legislative proposals expanding the State Children’s Health Insurance Plan.
Republicans–aided and abetted by the White House–are seeking to reduce the scale of the child health care legislation by claiming it is the first step toward a government takeover of healthcare.
The Senate is expected to start debate this evening on a modest bill that expands SCHIP by $35 billion over 5 years and pays for it by increased taxes on tobacco.
The proposal is expected to win the 60 votes necessary in the Senate to cut off debate and speed action.
A more expansive bill that increases SCHIP spending by $50 billion over 5 years and also increases doctor’s fees under Medicare, among other changes, is expected to be on the House floor later this week.
This bill would be paid by a smaller increase in the tobacco tax as well as cutbacks in payments to the Medicare Advantage program over 4 years.